Last Saturday I was lucky enough to witness the world premiere of Planetarium, the song cycle made by Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly and Bryce Dessner (of The National), in Eindhoven. They were joined by the New Trombone Collective and the Navarra String Quartet on stage, as if those three on one stage wasn’t amazing enough just yet. I was in complete awe afterwards, as it was quite the experience. Afterwards, I described Planetarium as “The Age of Adz with a touch of Nico Muhly’s magic, and multiply that because of Bryce Dessner” and it still seems fitting right now.
I just stumbled across a bootleg of a recording of the show they did in Amsterdam last Sunday, which is actually a very good bootleg and will definitely give you a thought of how Planetarium sounds like. It’s hard to pick a highlight from such an otherwordly experience, but Jupiter was the first song that literally made me sit on the tip of my seat so it seems fitting to make that one available for streaming here on DN. I recommend you check out bootleg, even though no recording can match the actual live experience. No news yet on whether the trio is going to dive in an actual studio to record Planetarium, but I surely hope they do. (picture)
The National are joined by Bon Iver for an acoustic version of Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks on Q. Needless to say this is amazing. The National brought two new songs to the Q-scene as well (Rylan and I Need My Girl), which you can stream here.
update You can now watch The National perform these two new songs on Q below.
The National hit all right spots with this cover of The Philistines Jr.'s Twenty Miles to NH Part 2, taken from their forthcoming cover compilation If a Band Plays in the Woods…? which also features the likes of Jónsi & Alex and Nico Muhly.
The National will release an expanded edition of the critically acclaimed High Violet on November 22 through 4AD.
As well as the original eleven-track album, the expanded edition will be packaged with a limited edition bonus disc of eight songs featuring an alternate version of High Violet opening track Terrible Love, two brand new songs Wake Up Your Saints and You Were A Kindness, b-sides Walk Off and Sin-Eaters plus three live recordings.
You already heard the lovely piano-ballad You Were A Kindness.
1. Terrible Love (Alternate Version) 2. Wake Up Your Saints 3. You Were A Kindness 4. Walk Off 5. Sin-Eaters 6. Bloodbuzz Ohio (Live on The Current) 7. Anyone’s Ghost (Live at Brooklyn Academy of Music) 8. England (Live at Brooklyn Academy of Music)